Belfast Telegraph

Thousands protested in Northern Ireland against the proposed abortion law changes

Alban Maginness: Health service professionals who object to taking part in abortions must be protected 

The easiest thing to do when things become contentious in your working life is to keep your head down and your mouth shut. But remarkably last week, 815 doctors, nurses and midwives didn't do that, but sent a strongly worded letter of protest to Secretary of State Julian Smith expressing opposition to any change in the abortion legislation here. They are so incensed by the undemocratic imposition by Westminster of an extreme abortion regime on the health service in Northern Ireland that they had to speak out publicly.

Claire Hanna speaking at the People's Rally in the Ulster Hall at the weekend

Alban Maginness: The only way to avoid shambles that Brexit has become is if we agree to re-run the referendum 

There was a delicious irony in holding the Rally for a People's Vote in the Ulster Hall, which for many people is the classic symbol of old-fashioned unionism. On Saturday, the Ulster Hall was politically transformed and the ghost of Paisley's firebrand oratory exorcised by Remain speakers and a capacity Remain audience into a vibrant demonstration of active support for a re-run of the European referendum.

The silent March for the Voiceless protest outside Stormont

Alban Maginness: Government's imposition of new abortion legislation can be halted by people power 

Last Friday's silent March for the Voiceless saw 20,000 pro-life people walking up the hill to the steps of our moribund Assembly at Stormont. It was immensely impressive. This silent, dignified demonstration against the undemocratic imposition of unrestricted abortion in the absence of a sitting Assembly concluded with an extraordinary display of torches that spectacularly illuminated the twilight. It was a moving sight and demonstrated the solidarity of ordinary citizens, both young and old, in opposing the threat to the life of the unborn.

Pakistani Christians hold candles to pay tribute to the Sri Lanka blasts victims during a vigil in Islamabad in April

Alban Maginness: From Sri Lanka to North Korea, Christians are being murdered for their beliefs as never before 

On Sunday, Menik Glynn, a local lady, originally from Sri Lanka, organised a peace walk and street collection that was supported by Protestants, Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. Together, they walked in solidarity in splendid sunshine through Belfast city centre, to demonstrate their support for those Christians in Sri Lanka who were savagely attacked by Islamic extremists in Colombo and Negombo.

Jeffrey Donaldson (centre) alongside Simon Coveney (right) at the FG conference last we

Donaldson right, Republic in the Commonwealth would be good, but not for the reason he gives 

For the past two years politics here has collapsed, becoming like a forlorn museum exhibit, but now even politics in Britain is in serious meltdown. The authority of the prime minister has disappeared. Parliament is currently incapable of making any coherent decisions on Brexit, or suggesting any reasonable alternative to it. Party discipline no longer exists in either major party. Politics is in chaos, verging on the mother of all constitutional crises.

A memorial in Soloheadbeg marks the spot where two RIC policemen were murdered by Irish Volunteers, a seminal and controversial event in Ireland’s fight for independence

Alban Maginness: Why murder of two policemen in January 1919 still haunts political establishment in Irish Republic 

Next Monday, January 21, sees the 100th anniversary of the sitting of the first Dail in the Mansion House in Dublin. Having triumphed over the Home Rulers of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the famous 1918 General Election, Sinn Fein, as promised, boycotted the Westminster parliament and set up a new Irish parliament, the first such parliament since the abolition of the old Irish parliament by the Act of Union in 1800.


From Belfast Telegraph